Nearly 150 years ago, Methodist preacher and evangelist William Booth started a movement to help the impoverished. The driving philosophy behind the movement was to provide both spiritual and physical nourishment to the poor. That movement, today, is a global force called The Salvation Army, which is focused on assisting members of society who are in need.

“The Salvation Army provides food and shelter for both adults and children,” says Tanya Chikoo, Junior Telemarketing, One Africa, Weston-Comstor Southern Africa. “We knew that the Salvation Army often struggles with funds and donations and decided that this was where we would focus for our One Africa Charity Drive.”

On Monday 24 July, Chikoo and colleagues Motlalepula Malinga and Justin Kistnasami from Westcon-Comstor made their way to the Salvation Army Rescue Centre in Benoni where they donated much needed winter clothing to the children and adults residing there. “We are strongly aware of the needs of various communities in Africa, and we feel that through unity, we can make a difference.”

The group are all members of the Comstor One Africa division, a dedicated telesales division. The winter drive stemmed from this particular team’s desire to make a difference in the community.

The small group from Westcon-Comstor were given a tour of the facility by the assistant manager of the centre. They were given an opportunity to meet residents of all ages and had a chance to take a look at the facility’s pre-school and play area where the younger residents learn and play.

“Our hearts went out to the children especially,” says Chikoo. “Some of the children at the Salvation Army Rescue Centre that we visited are there because they’ve been abandoned. Others are homeless or have been abused. Seeing their faces light up when we walked in was the highlight, as it was clear they are not used to having visitors”.

“While we were there, we became aware that there is more we can do,” Chikoo says, “We would like to come back in Spring and help them out if we can.”

The centre’s needs, however, don’t stop at providing clothing for its residents. The facility is in need of a considerable amount of maintenance and repair. Toys, books, tables and chairs for the pre-school classrooms are also in demand. The centre is also in need of a fresh coat of paint to brighten its walls.